Looking back over the last month, it is clear that the doom-and-gloom merchants have not been proved right after all – at least as far as the Third Sector is concerned.
In the same way that an apparent majority of those who have sadly died from coronavirus were suffering from pre-existing conditions, so many of the small charities which have had to close were already in financial difficulties – and the coronavirus crisis proved to be the last straw.
By contrast, those small charities which were in a strong financial position before coronavirus lockdown appear to have successfully weathered the storm so far.
Whilst this does not alter the fact that a number of very good local charities have gone to the wall, leaving their beneficiaries with limited or no support, it does indicate that coronavirus on its own has not sounded the death knell of the small charity.
There have been renewed calls for small charities to merge with other neighbouring charities which are providing the same, or similar, services. There are certainly good arguments for this, although one successful merger Minerva has been working with recently actually involved 2 charities working in entirely different areas, although those areas are in many ways complementary.
However, there is no reason why financially sound small charities should not survive coronavirus and continue to provide vital services, although these services may be and look different in the post-coronavirus environment.